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Section I: Teaching English in China continued

China EFL Pre-Employment Checklist

Below, for the reader's convenience, we have included a simplified summary checklist of the various issues addressed in this guide that every prospective teacher should raise and consider when reviewing various job offers. This list is intended as a simple reminder for those who have already read the guide. For those who haven't had a chance to read the guide yet, we suggest you take a look at our comprehensive summary checklist, which includes more items as well as a thorough discussion of each topic.

  1. Number of face-to-face teaching hours per week? (Foreign Teacher Salaries)
  2. Number of office hours and other work? (Office Hours and Unpaid Work)
  3. Typical amount of time needed for preparation and grading homework? (SAFEA Contracts and Addendums)
  4. Does the school have multiple branches and are teachers required to work split-shifts, especially across multiple branches? (Split-shifts, Weekends, Overtime)
  5. How far is the apartment from where you will be teaching? (Communicating with Other Teachers)
  6. Is travel time between branches compensated for? (Split-shifts, Weekends, Overtime)
  7. Is overtime mandatory or voluntary? (Split-shifts, Weekends, Overtime)
  8. Does the school have English Corners and contests, and, if so, what are the rates of pay? (Office Hours and Unpaid Work)
  9. How many days off per week do you have and are they contiguous? (SAFEA Contracts and Addendums)
  10. Total number of paid vacation (non-rescheduled) days off per year? (Paid Holidays and Vacation Time)
  11. Travel allowance, straight reimbursement of airfare, or bonus and how much? (Travel and Medical Benefits)
  12. Probationary period and, if so, how long? (SAFEA Contracts and Addendums)
  13. Does the school appear to value the role of the foreign teachers or are they simply viewed as superfluous? Related, ask if foreign teachers are ever assigned to teach classes other than "oral English." (No Respect as a Foreign English Teacher)
  14. Apartment will be inspected, repaired, painted as needed and cleaned before arrival? (Foreign Teacher Housing Problems)
  15. What is the school's policy, if any, on overnight visitors and long-term house guests? (Foreign Teacher Housing)
  16. What floor is the apartment you will be assigned on and does the building have an elevator? If so, does the building have a backup generator and, related, how often and for how long each time does the area lose electricity? (Foreign Teacher Housing)
  17. Does or will the school provide a Western-style, coiled-spring mattress? (Foreign Teacher Housing)
  18. Are utilities and Internet included and, if so, are they shared across several apartments? (Foreign Teacher Housing)
  19. Is a kitchen included, and if so, what provisions for cooking are there, e.g., gas/electric range, microwave, etc.? (Foreign Teacher Housing)
  20. Are kitchen and cooking utensils provided? (Foreign Teacher Housing)
  21. Did/can school provide you with the names and contact information of both current and former teachers? (Communicating with Other Teachers)
  22. School will pay for residency permit and physical exam for foreigner? (Preparing for Your Arrival)
  23. Did the school provide you with representative photos of the apartment you will be living in? (Foreign Teacher Housing Problems).
  24. Is moonlighting allowed? (ask this of teacher only) (Outside Work)
  25. Does school pay on time? (ask this of teacher only) (SAFEA Contracts and Addendums)
  26. Adequate air conditioning/heat in all rooms? (ask this of teacher only) (Foreign Teacher Housing)


About Us

Middle Kingdom Life is the premier award-winning educational website for foreign teachers and Western expats in China. It was founded by an American professor in psychology and sociology for the purpose of disseminating valid and reliable information about living and teaching in China. The site's mission is to protect and enhance the interests and social welfare of foreign teachers and Western expats in China.

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